Blessed for Love
Last week, Elmarie and I got to attend “Blessed for Love,” this year’s community concert event put on by Blessed School. Each year, the students and staff put countless hours of heart and sweat into this event that gives this community of people with special needs the opportunity to connect with the community in a unique way.
This year’s concert was a spectacle of singing, dance, percussionists, and drama. There’s a mix of traditional and modern music and costumes, and as an outsider it was fun to watch the audience burst into delight when the students would break into the tune of a beloved cultural song, or act out the scene of a well-known historical event (history is a big deal here).
The students at Blessed represent a broad range of abilities, and at this concert everybody gets a role. Some students reenact complex dramatic scenes, one class has a percussion team and another a dance group, and EVERYBODY sings.
Looking into the audience reminds me that many of the students come from Muslim families. Blessed is a Christian school, and God’s love is sung and celebrated on a daily basis, and it is a place where Christians and Muslims are comfortable to do that together. After the concert, a Muslim family is happily greeting each person at the exit to give them a home-baked Ramadan treat.
Music and dance and drama is such an integral part of Lebanese culture. So, when the Blessed students breathe life into these beloved songs and traditions, they are taking on an important and respected role in the society here. It is a way for others, even their own family members, to begin seeing the disabled person as someone who truly contributes to the society here.